Sunday, September 20, 2009

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

I am a HUGE fan of Scott Westerfeld. His worlds are fantastically imagined, his writing style doesn't talk down to you, and his stories stay in my head long after I've finished the book.

This latest book is set in a World War I alternate history, with fantasy that is not too complicated to get into. Prince Alek has lived his whole life in a Clanker society, where giant machines give man incredible fighting strength and power. After receiving awful news of his parents, he flees his country and tries to find safety amid a brewing war. Deryn Sharp longs to be an airshipman for the Darwinists, scientists who have altered the genes of wildlife to create extreme ships for transportation. The only problem is, she's a girl. When both of these brilliant kids meet aboard the Leviathan, they realize they are caught in the middle of something that is much bigger than they first thought.

LEVIATHAN is packed with action for boys and girls alike. Detailed drawings throughout reinforce just how complete the world has been created. It will also be good for bringing up discussions about the battle between animal technology and steam-powered machines. This book is bound to be a heavy hitter as the steampunk genre rises in popularity.

This is the first in a planned four-book series, and I can't wait for the next one!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Menu for Romance by Kaye Dacus

Kaye Dacus takes us back to Benneterre, this time with characters more interesting than the first book, STAND-IN GROOM. Meredith pledges that this year will finally be the year she gets a man in her life. However, when not one but TWO guys come knocking, it doesn't feel right. The only person who could possibly understand her busy lifestyle is Major O'Hara, the sweetest guy ever. (And a world-class chef!) Though there could not possibly be a couple better suited for each other, it is entertaining to watch these two come to grips with their mutual feelings.

One of the pleasures of reading this series is that it deals with real people, real jobs, and real life concerns. Readers from all walks of life will be able to identify with loving someone close to you and/or dealing with a family secret. Her writing style is easy and lightweight.

I am looking forward to the third book, where we finally get to learn more about Forbes!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Micah is a liar. She tells you that on the first page. But not anymore. She wants to tell you the truth about what happened to her friend Zach. As an investigation progresses, Micah navigates the rumors and harsh High School teenagers, while mourning her loss on her own terms. However, all is not as it seems.

Switching from Before to After the death makes for very tense reading, with details coming out slowly. It is cliche to hear that the story will keep you guessing right up until the last page, but LIAR takes it to the next level and makes you wonder if what you read was really there at all. The reader will find themselves in an unusual place - unsure whether the narrator is reliable.

This is an absolutely fantastic book that will make you want to tell all your friends about it, to get their opinion, to discuss with them the events and circumstances. Larbalestier has proven once again to be a top-notch writer for young adults.